Stephen Lethbridge - The Race to Makerspace #futureschools

Stephen Lethbridge presenting at Future Schools
After warming up the crowd with a few Dad jokes like only Lethbridge can. He then began the session with a moments silence and this quote:

“So the urgent drives out the important; the future goes largely unexplored; and the capacity to act, rather than the capacity to think and imagine becomes the sole measure for leadership.”

- Gary Hamel and C. K. Prahalad: "Competing for the Future"

What is the proliferation of Makerspaces doing? is it a case of a good idea being scaled up and watered down? Is it keeping up with Joneses? He then talked about the renaming of Woodwork to Hard Technology, the change from Cooking to Food Technology. But has anything really changed??

He also challenged the notion of even having a dedicated space. Or that making can only happen in a certain space or in a certain class. He talked about us needing to consider the one important space - the mind and the idea that being a maker  is about having a "maker mindset".

He also talked about the importance of open source software as we need to be able to share.

Lethbridge talked about how then maker movement is born out of the Constructivism movement.

As Lethbridge stated, we are kidding ourselves if we think the tools at the expo are going to change anything, it's going to take a change in mindset. Biggest impact is going to be changing mental models.

But let's face it, Kimberly says it best. ;-)


Maker Culture from EDtalks on Vimeo.

As Lethbridge quite rightly states, you don't need a space to this.

Provocation based learning - I like this idea Lethbridge. As he states, teachers shouldn't have all the answers. There's a lot of unlearning for our adults to do.

We need to be talking about the systemic structures that help us to grow the mindset.

At Taupaki they have the following enabling systemic structure.

Systemic Structure #1 - Make Club
@MakeClub_NZ where kids can come as long as the adults come along, thereby educating the parents. As he states, a space is great, but it doesn't need to be a special space. It's run as an iterative model. There's only one question - what are you making? The essence of Make Club is an apprenticeship. If you don't know what to do in Make Club, you find someone who can teach you.

Systemic Structure #2 - Coaching and Co-teaching
Sharing expertise and tapping into teacher passions. How can you tap into the teachers passion and introduce tech that way. E.g A teacher who is passionate about Art might be introduced to tech and making through binary art.

Lethbridge talked about his role as role model, if he wants to teachers to have courage, he needs to lead mistake maker. Show that it is safe to try and fail.

Leaders need to stay connected. Keep current, keep learning. Follow hashtags. If you don't do it, give resourcing and license for others to do this. Are you still growing your own capacity.

He ended with encouraging people to use the hashtag #makeanywhere

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